Erica Larson, art director for Adobe Studio, shows how to put together a stylish, eye-catching flyer in just five easy steps. Follow simple techniques and her pro tips to create a flyer you’ll be proud to hand out or share with the world.
Note: You’ll need the latest version of InDesign CC to follow along with this tutorial.
Upon launching InDesign, you’ll see the Start workspace. Click Create New to open the New Document dialog box. Or press Control+N (Windows) or Command+N (macOS). Select the Print tab at the top and click the Letter preset below. You’ll need to change just a couple of settings in Preset Details on the right: Change the units to inches, choose the portrait orientation, and uncheck Facing Pages. Make any changes to the margins, and then click Create.
Tip: See an active Preview of the document you’re building by checking Preview at the bottom of the New Document dialog box.
First, you’ll create a round frame, and then add your image inside the frame.
Press and hold the Rectangle Frame tool in the Tools panel and select the Ellipse Frame tool. Press Shift and drag to create a perfect circle.
With the round frame selected, choose File > Place and open any photo on your computer. We used Set Neon Cactus from Adobe Stock.
Now you can reposition your image inside the frame. Press V to switch to the Selection tool. When you hover over the image, the Content Grabber appears (a donut-shaped circle). Drag the Content Grabber to move the image inside the frame. To move the frame on the page, drag it by its edge or square bounding box.
You can create standout text with the professional typesetting features in InDesign. Press T to select the Type tool, and drag to draw a large text frame for your headline.
Tip: Align the text frame to a margin.
Type your headline text. Select your text and choose a font from the Font menu in the Control panel at the top. You can choose a font that’s already installed on your computer, or add new fonts from the vast Adobe Typekit Library available to Adobe Creative Cloud members.
(Watch Tap into a library of available fonts to learn how to browse, sync, and access hundreds of high-quality fonts from Typekit — right inside InDesign.)
To continue formatting, specify a font size, leading (vertical spacing between lines of text), and tracking (spacing between characters).
We used Merel from the Typekit Library in medium and bold weights at 18 pt and 36 pt font sizes and increased tracking values for all the text to make the headline appear airy.
With the Type tool, drag another text box and type your text. Practice formatting the text as shown in the previous step. We set the body copy in Merel Light at 18 pt size and increased the tracking.
Tip: Alternatively, you can quickly match text formatting used elsewhere in the document. Select some text, and then click the Eyedropper tool in the Tools panel. Click directly on any formatted text and your selected text will be formatted the same instantly.
You may notice awkward line breaks caused by automatic hyphenation. To create smoother line endings, we clicked Paragraph Formatting Controls in the left corner of the Control panel and unchecked Hyphenate.
Add simple shapes in bright colors and angle your text to liven up your layout.
Press M for the Rectangle tool. Draw a box and align it to a margin. To colorize the shape, you’ll pick a color from your image to tie into your design. With the box selected, press I for the Eyedropper tool and click your image to sample a color and apply it. To remove the border, select the Stroke Color icon in the Control panel or Tools panel and set it to None.
Next, type some text in a new text frame and format it. When you’re done, press ESC. Move your cursor just off a corner of the bounding box until you see the rotation cursor. Press Shift and rotate the text 90°, and then drag your text box to position it in your composition.
Your modern flyer design is ready. First, save it as an InDesign CC 2018 document (INDD) so you can return to edit it anytime. Choose File > Save and give it a unique name.
To save a PDF you can hand off for printing, choose File > Export. Select Adobe PDF (Print), and then click Save. In the Export Adobe PDF dialog box that appears, select the High Quality Print preset at the top and click Export.
To share your creation online in just a couple of clicks, use the Publish Online feature. With the flyer document open, click Publish Online at the top of your application window. In the dialog box that opens, simply click Publish. Once you’ve uploaded your document, you can view it online and share a link with anyone.
Now that you’ve got the hang of it, practice creating design variations. Get inspired by these alternate layouts Erica created for this project.